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Alta, Utah - Wildcat Base

Wildcat Base

Country US
Nearest airport Salt Lake City (35 miles)
Resort height / Vertical rise 8530ft / 2020ft
Acres / Km of Piste 2200 acres
No of trails / No of lifts 11 / 116
Hard / Moderate / Easy 35% / 40% / 25%
Annual snowfall / reliability? 500� / excellent
Resort Website
Trail Map
Alta, Utah - Crooked Mile (green off Sunnyside)

Crooked Mile (green off Sunnyside)

Alta, Utah - Mambo (blue off Collins)

Mambo (blue off Collins)

Alta, Utah - Baldy main chute

Baldy main chute

Alta, Utah


Alta Ski Area is situated at the end of Little Cottonwood Canyon in the heart of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Snow conditions are reliably good � the average annual snowfall is a huge 500�. There�s no ski village as such, just 2 ski base areas, about half-a-mile apart. Alta is a skiing-only mountain, and no snowboarding is allowed.

Alta has its origins as a silver mining center in the late 20th century. The town (sited near present-day Albion lift) was notorious as a wild, lawless mining outpost, where shootings were common in the numerous (supposedly 26) whisky saloons. By the 1930s, the mining boom had been and gone, and the town had all but been destroyed by fire and avalanche. In 1938, largely thanks to work by the Forest Service and the Salt Lake City Winter Sports Association, skiing began at Alta as a small, one lift operation.

Today Alta is a world-famous ski destination known for its magnificent powder skiing. The ski area has 2 base lodges, Wildcat Base and, slightly further up the valley, Albion Base. You can reach Albion Base from Wildcat by the road (car or free shuttle) or by a drag. (But mostly avoid the drag, as it�s cluttered with beginners on chaotic ski lessons).

Alta�s reputation mainly lies on the quality and quantity of its expert terrain. But there is enough to keep newbies busy. Take the Sunnyside lift (free after 3pm) from Albion Base to access Crooked Mile, and Dipsy Doodle, both pleasant easy-angled green runs back down the slope. Alternatively take Alf�s trail over to the Cecret Lift. Here you�ll find Rabbit and Sweet n Easy, slightly more challenging terrain.

Intermediate skiers have a number of options. Take the Supreme chair up to the shoulder of East Castle peak. After you�ve admired the stupendous mountain views, head down the super Upper Big Dipper trail. More intermediate terrain is accessible via the Sugarloaf Quad. Here, an option is to take Collins Return to the top of Sugarloaf. Join the Mambo trail, follow this down to Meadow, then Rustler Cat Track and finally reach Corkscrew to meet the bottom of the Collins Quad at Wildcat. A magnificent and beautiful descent to the base station.

There�s lots of choice for experts. From the top of the Supreme triple chair, a hike down the ridge leads to Sidewinder, So Long, Sunset, Snowshoe Hill and Last Chance, all steep lines through glorious powder. Another favorite is the Ballroom Traverse reached from the Collins Quad. This makes its way across the north face of Mount Baldy. Pick a place to plunge down the bowl to join up with the Main Street trail below (the earlier you drop in the less steep your run will be). Super-hardened skiers can hike up Mount Baldy from the top of Sugarloaf, to face the stomach wrenching excitement of the Baldy chutes.

Limited lodging is available in Alta base area. Alta Lodge, Alta Peruvian Lodge, Alta�s Rustler Lodge, Goldminer�s Daughter Lodge and Snowpine Lodge can all be recommended as convenient ski-in ski-out accommodation. But there�s no ski village as such, and Alta cannot really be recommended for parties which include one or more non-skiers.

Why in 100 Best?

Alta is the spiritual home of epic powder skiing.

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Listing contributed by Steve

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At A Glance
Snow Reliability
Ski-In Ski Out
Stay in Village at Mtn
Stay nr Mtn
Suitable for Learners
Tree/Glade Skiing
Chute/Bowl Skiing
Suitable for Families
Apres Ski
Download these high-resolution images to use them as wallpapers for your mobile or desktop screens.
Alta, Utah - Albion Base
Alta, Utah - Devil's Castle, Mt Sugarloaf and Mt Baldy
Alta, Utah - Main Street (blue off Collins)
Alta, Utah - West Rustler area


Tags best utah skiing, mountain resort vacations, mountain resort vacation, ski vacation, ski vacations, snow, utah downhill skiing, utah ski trip, utah skiers, winter skiing vacation

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Best Ski Resorts - Alta, Utah - Information, Photos, Wallpapers 1280x1024,1024x768,1280x800, Videos - 47 votes